Frequently Asked Questions
 
Where does the food come from?
Most of the food we distribute is purchased from East Texas Food Bank for a handling fee. While this is less than the cost of going to the store it is not free. We spend between $1,500 and $2,000 each month for food.  Some items are donated directly by Brookshire’s in Van.  These items consist of bread and pastry products.  Local farmers also donate eggs and fresh produce in season.  Most the produce we distribute, however, comes from East Texas Food Bank on a grant they receive and does not cost us anything. We also receive donations from the Angle Tree program, small food drives at churches and organizations, and individuals throughout the year.

Must clients pay for the food they receive?
There is no charge for any of the food distributed by Loaves & Fishes however, donations are gratefully accepted to help defer our costs.

Does Walmart donate to Loaves & Fishes?
Walmart does not donate to Loaves & Fishes because there is no Walmart in Van and they only donate to agencies in towns where they have stores.

Are donations to Van Community Ministries/Loaves & Fishes tax deductible?
Yes, donations to VCM are tax deductible because VCM is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.  While we do give receipts for in-kind donations we cannot assign a value for those donations.

Do you accept clothing donations?
At this time, we are unable to accept clothing donations.

Do you give out paper products?
After the tornado, we received donations of paper towels, toilet paper, diapers and baby wipes. While we distributed most of these items we do still have some left and give them out on an as needed basis.  We would still accept donations of these items as well as laundry detergent and personal care items.  These items are important to our clients but are not something we will spend our money to purchase.

Do people have a choice of the food they receive?
We try to give people a choice of food products because we realize not everyone likes or eats the same things.  Items available on each food service day are selected based on what is available from East Texas Food Bank.  There may appear to be more items on the shelves than are offered on any given day, but those items may be designated for another food service day.  Food is ordered no more than twice a month from East Texas Food Bank and must be stretched to meet our service days.  Our staff does their best to select and offer a wide variety of items.

Donations may be made through PayPal (just by clicking on the "Donation" button at the top of this page),
or by mailing them to PO Box 201 Van, TX 75790


Mission Statement

The Mission of Van Community Ministries 
is to coordinate the resources of a caring community in order to assist in meeting the basic needs of the low income population of Van ISD.
Van Community Ministries
Helping Neighbors in Crisis Since 1996